Although the very idea of luxury might seem to be a modern concept developed over the last decades only, the history of luxury is as old as the history of humanity. The earliest human societies were not merely content to meet their physical needs. Many ornaments crafted thousands of years ago provide evidence of the pleasure human beings took in possessing special objects.
The beauty of unique “turqueries,” the splendor of the Topkapı Palace, the magnificience of delicate decorative arts… Whoever speaks of five centuries of luxury cannot fail to feel the power of such a heritage, which makes everything bigger and grander, drawing new forms and combinations from each motif. Even in the twenty-first century, this heritage continues to inspire, enthrall and summon up dreams. And celebrating five hundred years of luxuriant style means immersing ourselves in history and basking in a way of life that is one of a kind – it means finding in the past the inspirations that give the present its brilliance.
Developed in partnership with the Turkish luxury-fashion leader Beymen for its fiftieth anniversary, this volume has been imagined as a timely counterpart to the brand’s Golden Opulence exhibition at the Tophane-i Amire Culture and Art Center in Istanbul. A true ode to the art of living, the book features fashion pieces designed for the brand only and photographed exclusively by Laziz Hamani, from Alexander McQueen and Valentino to Erdem and Victoria Beckham. Golden Opulence, 500 Years of Luxuriant Style celebrates the beauty of Ottoman savoir faire, becoming along the way the ultimate reference for fashion and luxury enthusiasts.
Journalist and writer Laurence Benaïm is the author of the biographies on Yves Saint Laurent, Marie-Laure de Noailles and Jean-Michel Frank (Grasset, 2001, 2017, 2018), in addition to La Sidération (Stock, 2021) and Paris, capitale de Guerlain (Flammarion, 2021). She has written several books on fashion and style history for Assouline, including Yves Saint Laurent: The Impossible Collection (2020), Orientalism Style (2022), Carita (2022) and Guerlain: An Imperial Icon (2023)